Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 2:27pm. 15 Views, 0 Comments.
>> Market UpdateQUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money and power and influence."--Henry Chester, Australian public servant
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... Home builders showed plenty of enthusiasm in December, sending Housing Starts up 4.4%, to a way-better-than expected 1.089 million annual rate. Overall starts are up 5.3% compared to a year ago, with annualized growth of more than one million units for the fourth month in a row. In fact, more homes were started last year than any year since 2007. Single-family starts shot up 7.2% for the month and are up 18.4% over the last two years. Building Permits did drop 1.9% overall, but the falloff was all due to multi-family units, which are volatile
Monday, January 26th, 2015 at 9:51am. 15 Views, 0 Comments.
COMMENTARY: This was a week where mortgage rates were beholding to the sale of real estate. According to the Commerce Department, residential construction finished 2014 with a flourish of activity. December housing starts were up 4.4% over November and 5.3% above December 2013 construction volume. The National Association of Realtors also announced the pace of Existing Home Sales gained 2.4% from November to December.
At the end of December, inventory was 1.85 million units, a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace. The inventory of existing homes for sale is worth noting because, as a rough rule of thumb, the closer the supply of existing homes for sales moves toward 4.0 - the stronger the jump in new single-family home construction will…
Monday, January 19th, 2015 at 3:00pm. 40 Views, 0 Comments.
>> Market UpdateQUOTE OF THE WEEK... "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."--John Wooden, American basketball player and coach
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... We might not be able to make the housing market recover as fast as we would like, but we can each do our part to keep things moving in the right direction. Evidence of that came last week when the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported a surprising 49% surge in mortgage applications for the week ending January 9. Best of all, purchase applications were up by 24%, at their highest level since September 2013. The MBA's chief economist explained: "In addition to the drop in rates, and news of improvement in the job market, there was additional positive news
Saturday, January 17th, 2015 at 9:49am. 43 Views, 0 Comments.
COMMENTARY: As opposed to last week, world events were of minor consequence this week with regards to US mortgage rates and when that occurs, we look either to our own economic reports or the stock market to take the lead. On Wednesday, rates slid slightly powered by a sell-off in the stock markets created by the release of a weaker-than-expected December Retail Sales report, but by the end of the day, calmer investors had decided that the decline in gasoline prices had accounted for a big chunk of the drop. It was also worth noting that during November and December, core retail sales, a value stripped of sales numbers from gasoline stations and auto dealers, expanded 4.7% from 2013 levels - the best pace of growth since 2012.
Today, the Bureau of…
Friday, January 16th, 2015 at 3:25pm. 55 Views, 0 Comments.
>> Market UpdateQUOTE OF THE WEEK... "It is a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it."--Somerset Maugham, British playwright, novelist and short story writer
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... We all want 2015 to be the best year yet, and there are some encouraging signs. The home price index from a major analytics firm shows that, excluding distressed sales, home prices nationwide increased 5.3% in November versus November a year ago, with all states and the District of Columbia reporting gains. This marks 33 straight months of year-over-year home price appreciation. The firm's CEO commented, "The pace of home price gains has slowed as we exit 2014 but this is probably only a temporary
Monday, January 12th, 2015 at 9:36am. 46 Views, 0 Comments.
COMMENTARY: In an unexpected turn of events, today’s strong employment headline of 252,000 new jobs in December should have put noticeable upward pressure on mortgage interest rates but this time around things were different. The surge in the number of Americans on the job and the drop in the national jobless rate has done little to lift wage and salary growth. As a matter of fact, if the government figures are accurate, average wages actually fell 0.2% in December and the gain over the past twelve months slowed to just 1.7%. But this is only part of the story.
As tragic world events continue to unfold in France, large sovereign wealth fund investors continue to shy away from Europe, preferring to park their money in the safety of US T-bills and our…
Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 7:52pm. 52 Views, 0 Comments.
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... In the end, the past year provided a pretty decent prologue to this one. Let's start with 2014's final bit of housing data, in which the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Pending Homes Sales up 0.8% in November, a nice reversal from the prior month's dip. Even better, that reading is 4.1% ahead of November 2013, the highest year-over-year gain since August a year ago. The NAR's chief economist added, "With rents now rising at a seven-year high, historically low rates and moderating price growth are likely to entice more buyers to enter the market in upcoming months."
An equally positive prologue to 2015 came when mortgage rates…
Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 at 9:51am. 85 Views, 0 Comments.
COMMENTARY: As expected in this disjointed holiday week, there was not much economic news of consequence other than today’s report from the Institute of Supply Management showing reduced activity levels at the nation's factories. Following this disappointing ISM report, stock investors registered their nagging fear the equity markets are a bit overpriced by initiating another round of selling. The "so what factor" here is simple and straightforward -- falling stock prices tend to be supportive of steady to fractionally lower mortgage interest rates.
Looking ahead to next week, early week reports are mere appetizers as traders anxiously await Friday's release of the December Nonfarm Payroll data. At this time, the majority of analysts believe the…
Monday, December 29th, 2014 at 4:05pm. 54 Views, 0 Comments.
>> Market UpdateQUOTE OF THE WEEK... "The principal thing in this world is to keep one's soul aloft."--Gustave Flaubert, French writer
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE... It was difficult for some lofty souls to remain that way following last week's housing data. Existing Home Sales dipped 6.1% in November, to just below the 5 million unit annual rate, but this follows October's read, which was the highest level of the year. Sales are still 2.1% ahead of a year ago. Given the monthly volatility, it's important to look at the underlying trend, which is upward and improving. The market itself also improves. Non-cash sales, where the buyer takes out a mortgage, are 12.6% above last November. The median price is up 5.0% over last year, which should
Friday, December 26th, 2014 at 9:59am. 82 Views, 0 Comments.